It’s never too early to involve kitchen-curious tots in the cooking process (and might even make them think twice before turning down their veggies). Fortunately for your Master Chef juniors, there are great classes scattered across the city that cater specifically to pint-sized cooks. From museum visits and tea parties, to pie crusts and knife skills, read on to learn about all of the delicious culinary opportunities open to the younger set and prepare for your kids to be whisked away!
photo: BLVD Kitchen
For a true hands-on experience with cooking in a professional catering kitchen, check out the super fun and hands-on classes offered at BLVD. The owner Sharon and chef/instructor Michel bring their passion for the culinary arts to life and are enthusiastic to pass along their know-how to small students. From necessary basics like knife skills to breakfast-themed classes (imagine hearing “Mom, want some stuffed French toast this morning?”) to comfort-food classics, this place certainly knows how to make food prep appeal to the short stack set. Speaking of fun, for a different birthday party recipe, consider throwing your sous chef’s next soiree (ages 6 & up) here, where everything from homemade pizzas to meatballs to cupcake decorating and tea parties are on the celebration menu.
Ingredient List: Kids cooking classes range from $65-$75 for 2-hour session and are limited to 10 students per class. These spots tend to sell out quickly so it’s best to make your reservations chop-chop.
13545 Ventura Blvd.
Museum visits and baking aren’t necessarily two actions that you might think would go well together, but at ArtBites it’s the perfect pairing. Owner Maite Gomez-Rejon has found a way to combine her art history museum background with her training as a private celebrity chef into one of the most unique cooking class experiences around. Kids classes are offered frequently through her program and generally involve a quick (yet informative) museum visit before heading back to her kitchen space (located 3 minutes from LACMA) where they will channel the art they observed into various types of food. ArtBites also offers birthday parties and “Family Caper” classes (where the whole family cooks) in your own home built around a theme of yours (or your little Lagasse’s) choosing. Culture never tasted so good!
Ingredient List: Kids classes offered via the website are $80 for one child and their accompanying adult and price includes museum visits and all ingredients used. Family caper in-home classes are $500 for up to 6 people and birthday parties ($80/child) can include up to 12 kids.
photo: Radical Cooks
The options are endless here as Radical Cooks offers both weekly cooking class sessions for kids over the age of 7 as well as one-time classes centered around a specific ingredient or dish. Maybe your little food explorer wants to combine their love of cooking with more of a geographical angle? Check out Radical Cook’s “Pots, Pans & Passports” series, where each week they “visit” a different country, learn about its cultural dishes and then re-create their own versions sampling tastes and flavors from around the world. For those not ready to commit to an 8-week session, there are stand-alone classes such as “The Great International Christmas Cookie Bake-off” or “Penchant for Pies.” Here your bite-sized bakers will spend 2 hours creating (and tasting) a variety of cultural delicacies all while practicing great kitchen techniques (and might even bring some samples home for the rest of the family to enjoy).
Ingredient List: Class sessions are $120/6 weeks, $140/8 weeks or $240/11 weeks. Single cooking class prices are around $65 per 2-hour class. Birthday parties (or other special events) are generally $60/per child but best to call the company to discuss prices/party options. Dietary restrictions are also easily accommodated so let your gluten/dairy/nut-free guard down and enjoy.
6375 North Figueroa
photo: Sur La Table via Facebook
Sur La Table
Classy cookware might be what they are known for selling but Sur La Table (in keeping with its literal translation of “on the table”) offers kids cooking classes once or twice a month at many of their Los Angeles locations. Kids ages 8–12 will learn to create three different dishes (revolving around one specific theme) within the span of 2 hours and that usually stirs up an appreciation for the culinary arts in even the pickiest of eaters. Their philosophy when it comes to young cooks is all about inspiring confidence in the kitchen and it certainly shows with the thoughtful approach of folding the most basic techniques (knife skills, measuring and overall kitchen safety) into every class offered.
Ingredient List: “Kids Cook” classes generally run about $49 for a 2-hour session. For more of a continuous cooking experience, check out their Kids 3-Day Holiday camp in December for $150 ($50/day).
Check your local Sur La Table for their cooking class schedule.
photo: Raddish Kids via Facebook
If an outside cooking class isn’t their cup of tea, why not try a cooking club at home (led by Chef Mom or Dad) with your tiny tasters? At a fraction of the cost of a formal stand-alone class (and with a lot less driving around), sign up for a monthly subscription to Raddish and take the anxiety out of cooking with your kids. Each month, your child (age 4 & up) will receive a theme-based kit in the mail containing easy-to-follow illustrated recipe guides, a creative kitchen project, culinary skill cards, a grocery shopping list for the adults and a kitchen tool of their very own to use in whipping up something delicious. The folks behind Raddish Kids have created a way to involve everyone in the meal-making process with the theory that kids will be much more eager to eat a meal they have helped prepare from start to finish (bonus). They have also subtlety packed their yummy recipes with math, science, history, geography and culture lessons your small fries won’t even realize they’re learning (double bonus).
Ingredient List: Raddish Kids kits cost $24/month. Purchase a 6-month subscription and pay $22/month (with a free apron thrown in for your top-chef-in-training). Not interested in a monthly commitment? No problem–Raddish also offers single kits (like Edible Experiments or Ticket to Japan) for purchase.
How do you get your kiddos in the kitchen? We’d love to hear you family cooking stories in the comments below.